The Department responsible for the Government's
Reform of the Planning and Development Regime – the Office of
the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) - announced in June of this year
an indicative timetable to bring into effect certain provisions of
the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act which received Royal
Assent on 13th May 2004. Many provisions conferring
powers and duties came into effect on the 6th August with most of
the remaining provisions due to be enabled on the
28th September 2004.
- Part 1 of the 2004 Act – Regional Planning - the
provisions in relation to the introduction of Regional Spatial
Strategies (RSS) to replace Regional Planning Guidance notes and
the introduction of Regional Planning Bodies will be fully enabled
by the end of this month.
- Part 2 – Local Planning - the provisions to require local
planning authorities to prepare and maintain Local Development
Schemes with Local Development Documents (LDD), all of which must
fit within the RSSs, will be enabled at the same time as Part
- Part 3 – Development Plans and Sustainable Development
– Part 2 of the Act redefines 'development plan' with the
introduction of the requirement for planning authorities to produce
Local Development Documents and this Part amends the necessary
definitions. It also imposes a statutory duty on the persons
and bodies responsible for preparing RSS and Local Development
Documents to assess how the policies and plans will contribute
towards sustainable development.
On the 8th September 2004, the ODPM
issued guidance relating to the obligations contained in Parts 1, 2
and 3 of the Act in the form of two new Planning Policy Statements
setting out procedural policy in relation to the content and
preparation of both RSSs and LDDs.
- Part 4 - Development Control – amongst other things will
bring about changes to the General Development Procedure
Order. For example the introduction of local permitted
development rights by way of local development orders. Where
changes have already been consulted on they are due to be enabled
this month. However, the provision under this Part of the Act
that would require developers, landlords and tenants to make an
application for planning permission to install a mezzanine floor
into a retail unit has not yet been consulted upon.
Consultation on this issue should take place Autumn 2004 and the
resulting provisions should then come into effect in early
Provisions under this Part of the Act
that came into force on the 6th August 2004 include changes to the
way in which fees and charges for a range of planning functions are
administered and the requirements for the provision of documents in
support of planning applications.
Yet to be brought into force are the
provisions relating to the reduction of time conditions for
planning permissions and to the extension of local planning
authorities' powers to decline to determine applications. The ODPM
have announced their intention to issue guidance on the power to
decline to determine which, when enabled, will put a stop to the
use of twin tracking by applicants.
Specific Regulations on Planning Obligations (Section 106
Agreements) will not be made until early 2006. However, the
Government considers that a revised Government Circular 1/97 on
planning obligations should be published - as a draft for
consultation - in Autumn 2004 with a view to putting the new
arrangements in place early in 2005. Government will also
continue to work up proposals in parallel for an optional planning
charge, but at the same time Government is to encourage a number of
local authorities (as yet unidentified) to pilot the planning
For full details of the suggested timetable access
the government's press release at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2004_0135.